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Dan Deuterman
Dan Deuterman
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Preventing Construction Injuries

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Construction work is one of the most dangerous jobs out there, accounting for more workplace injuries and fatalities than any other field.

But there are simple things that construction workers and their employers can do to prevent injuries on the job.

These tips are taken from a new 92-page guide from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It’s a must-read for any construction worker, supervisor, contractor or foreman.

- Change tools and/or equipment. For example, use tools with extension handles that let you stand up rather than stooping.

- To reduce the amount of overhead work you must do, use a lift to raise yourself
so you are closer to the work.

- When you pick up or set down a load, don’t reach more than 10 inches away from your body.

- Don’t twist your body.

- Lift with your legs, not your back. Keep your back as straight as possible.

- Lift any load using a solid two-handed grip

- Use ergonomically designed tools that are designed to fit the hand and body and the job.

I’ve really simplified the tips contained in the NIOSH report. This is one of the most comprehensive tipsheets I’ve ever seen for the construction industry, and the researchers have done a good job of providing specific examples for preventing injuries while performing various construction tasks. You can learn something whether you’re installing drywall, caulking, cutting sheet metal or tying rebar.

For more information on this subject, please see our section on Workplace Injuries and Workers Compensation.